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Oct 22,2009 Tri City News

Published: October 22, 2009 2:00 PM
Updated: October 22, 2009 2:56 PM

Several Coquitlam residents whose homes will back onto the Evergreen Line say their quality of life will be destroyed when SkyTrain-type cars start whizzing by every three minutes for almost 20 hours a day.

Although the Burnaby-to-Coquitlam line won’t be finished until 2014, the neighbours who live on Elmwood Street north of Como Lake Avenue say their property values dropped when the alignment was announced, making it more costly for them to move.

They’re sending a letter to the provincial ombudsman asking for help to deal with the Ministry of Transportation, which is overseeing the $1.4-billion project.

“[The ministry has] refused outright any recompense at all,” said Dave Wooley, who moved to his house in 2004 from Winnipeg without knowing the area was slated for a rapid transit route.

For some time, his fears were allayed when light rapid transit was the chosen technology. But that all changed in 2008 when the province chose SkyTrain-type transit for its greater capacity and efficiency.

“We were horrified and that was the general consensus in the neighbourhood,” Wooley said.

He said he and about 10 property owners want the ministry to compensate them for their homes’ loss in value.

But officials say the ministry doesn’t compensate people who live beside the line and an environmental review will determine mitigation for noise and other impacts.

Wooley said trees will not stop homeowners from being disturbed by trains.

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